Effect of vermicompost soil additive on growth performance, physiological and biochemical responses of tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum L. var. Firenze) to salt stress

  • Samra Akef Bziouech, Research laboratory «Agrobiodiversity and Ecotoxicology» LR21AGR02, High Institute of Agronomy of Chott-Mariem, Sousse University, Sousse, Tunisia
  • Najla Dhen Research laboratory «Agrobiodiversity and Ecotoxicology» LR21AGR02, High Institute of Agronomy of Chott-Mariem, Sousse University, Sousse, Tunisia
  • Sondes Helaoui Research laboratory «Agrobiodiversity and Ecotoxicology» LR21AGR02, High Institute of Agronomy of Chott-Mariem, Sousse University, Sousse, Tunisia
  • Imen Ben Ammar Research laboratory «Agrobiodiversity and Ecotoxicology» LR21AGR02, High Institute of Agronomy of Chott-Mariem, Sousse University, Sousse, Tunisia
  • Bouthaina Al Mohandes Dridi Research laboratory «Agrobiodiversity and Ecotoxicology» LR21AGR02, High Institute of Agronomy of Chott-Mariem, Sousse University, Sousse, Tunisia

Abstract

Vermicomposting is increasing used to process food, sewage and other organic wastes through the breakdown by earthworms. Vermicompost
addition to soils can improve plant growth through increasing the accessability of nutrients and lowering levels of contaminants found in
other compost products. This study examins the effect of vermicompost on salinity tolerance in tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum
L., var. Firenze) via greenhouse pot experiments. Plants were grown on 4 substrates designated by letter identifiers: A control, “T” with
100% organic soil; a vermicompost treatment “Vc” was 80% organic soil + 20% Vermicompost; a compost treatment “C” was 80%
organic soil + 20% Compost; and a mixture treatment “M” was 80% organic soil + 10% Vermicompost+ 10% Compost. The four
treatment groups were exposed to 3 NaCl concentrations (0, 50 and 150 mM); the experimenta; design within the greenhouse was
complete randomized block. The plants’ response to salinity stress was evaluated through morphological (shoot length, stem diameter, leaves
number, root length, shoot and root fresh and dry weight), physiological (Chla, Chlb and Carotenoid) and biochemical (malondialdehyde
(MDA) and catalase (CAT)) parameters. All measured parameters were significantly different between the four soil treatments. Plants
grown on Vc substrate showed an improved growth and a better resistance to salinity stress. Analyzed parameters were positively
influenced by the contribution of the organic matter (Vermicompost, compost and a mixture of the two) which plays a role in the slow,
consistent release of mineral elements and provides soluble nutrients to reduce abiotic stresses. In conclusion, vermicompost could be a
relevant method for reducing salt stress on tomato plants growth, addressing the challenges of growing food crops in drier, more saline
contaminated envvironments.

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How to Cite
Akef Bziouech, S., N. Dhen, S. Helaoui, I. Ben Ammar, and B. Al Mohandes Dridi. “Effect of Vermicompost Soil Additive on Growth Performance, Physiological and Biochemical Responses of Tomato Plants (Solanum Lycopersicum L. Var. Firenze) to Salt Stress”. Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture, Vol. 34, no. 4, Apr. 2022, doi:https://doi.org/10.9755/ejfa.2022.v34.i4.2844. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.
Section
Research Article